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Two Texas A&M-Kingsville student trombonists qualify for prestigious music competition

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Shown from left, Joshua Gentile, Xavier Esparza and Matthew Gomez

Shown from left, Joshua Gentile, Xavier Esparza and Matthew Gomez

KINGSVILLE (December 13, 2023) — Two members of the trombone studio at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s School of Music have qualified for the finals of the prestigious Big 12 Trombone competition to be held next month at Texas Tech University.


Two members of Javelina Nation are finalists in the bass trombone category. They are Joshua Gentile, a graduate music performance major from Eagle, Idaho; and Matthew Gomez, an undergraduate music performance major from Corpus Christi.


A third member of the trombone studio was named an alternate in the tenor trombone division. The alternate is Xavier Esparza, an undergraduate general studies (music) major from Harlingen.


Only three finalists and one alternate are chosen for the finals from each category. The preliminary judging was done with recordings, according to Dr. Oscar Diaz, trombone professor. However, the final competition will be live.


“These competitions are important because it teaches the student to prepare a piece of music at an extremely high level. Enjoying the process and journey also is a big part for any musician,” Diaz said. “These high-level competitions help a musician understand the improvements needed mentally, physically and musically to be more successful.


“I always tell my students that you become elite when no one is watching. You’re practicing on your own, you’re trusting what your professor is telling you to do and you are becoming more independent,” he added.


“If you want to perform at a high level in front of thousands, then you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody,” Diaz said. “I am super proud of these students and all the students that I teach at Texas A&M-Kingsville. They are definitely special.”



Category: General Univ , Arts/Sciences

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